BOSTON — A pinch in the front of Kelvim Escobar's throwing shoulder shouldn't put the Angels in a bind. Though Escobar was put on the 15-day disabled list Friday, Jered Weaver is set to be activated Monday, and Dustin Moseley, who has turned in two excellent starts, will fill out the rotation for another week or so.
But the Angels have to be concerned about the growing list of injuries that have derailed Escobar, who is in the first year of a three-year, $28.5-million contract and has been on the DL five times in the last three seasons.
Escobar underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in 2005, and he went on the DL because of elbow irritation in 2006. He's been slowed by tendinitis in his left knee since the beginning of last season.
The right-hander's elbow and knee felt good entering this season, but he felt "a pinch" in his shoulder while throwing a split-fingered fastball to strike out Mike Piazza in the first inning last Sunday.
Escobar remained in the game, giving up two runs and eight hits in six innings of a 2-1 loss to the A's, but he felt too much discomfort to throw in the bullpen between starts and was put on the DL "as a precaution," Manager Mike Scioscia said.
"I told them I didn't want to go on the DL, that I'd only have to miss one game, and then I should be fine," Escobar said. "Fifteen days is going to be too much…. I don't think it's anything serious, but they want to be careful."
Escobar, who was scheduled to start today against the Red Sox, was examined Thursday in Milwaukee by Dr. William Raasch, the Brewers' orthopedist, who diagnosed Escobar with tendinitis and determined an MRI test was not necessary. Escobar is tentatively scheduled to return April 25 against Tampa Bay.
Reliever Hector Carrasco will start today, and Greg Jones was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake to bolster the bullpen.
"I've been on the DL a few times, but I've always been able to rebound and pitch in the same year," Escobar said. "I have a lot of innings left in this arm. I should be fine. The only thing I'm upset about is I hate going on the DL."
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"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax